Cobie Smulders and Guy Pearce in Results

Cobie Smulders and Guy Pearce in Results

Burn Later Productions

Attention, Austin citizens: It's time to either take cover or join the madness. The SXSW circus is coming to town.

The annual traffic-stopping spectacle kicks off Friday with the film and interactive portions of the event, which continues next week with music. As always, SXSW will draw plenty of famous folks. The conference panel lineup includes Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Schumer, Ryan Gosling, Ava DuVernay, Henry Rollins, Sally Field and many others.

Right now, however, we want to talk about movies. Here are the 10 SXSW films (in alphabetical order) that have me excited enough to groan less about long lines and interactive marketing minions popping up like Whack-A-Moles on every street corner. I've already seen a few of the films.

The Comedians

TV gains a stronger toehold at SXSW every year. This is the world premiere of FX's new series about a veteran-and-newbie show-biz tandem (Billy Crystal and Josh Gad) mining for sketch comedy gold.

Love & Mercy

Paul Dano and John Cusack play Brian Wilson in this drama about the tormented Beach Boys genius. The Pet Sounds session sequences are pure bliss.


Soul legend Mavis Staples, who just played at the Kessler Theater, gets the spotlight in this documentary portrait. Respect yourself and go see it.

Petting Zoo

Lone Star talent rising: San Antonio's Micah Magee directed this teen pregnancy drama, starring newcomer Devon Keller.


 This satire of America's self-improvement mania features Guy Pearce, Giovanni Ribisi, Cobie Smulders and Brooklyn Decker.


A smart look at a passionate (and expensive) subculture: the design, pursuit and collecting of high-end sneakers. It's like the hippest episode of Hoarders ever.

Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine

Want a primer for the Aaron Sorkin-Danny Boyle biopic coming later this year? Documentary maestro Alex Gibney delivers a nonfiction version.


SXSW has also become a sort of work-in-progress workshop for the likes of Judd Apatow. He comes to town with an unfinished version of his latest comedy, starring Amy Schumer.

Welcome to Leith

This sounds scary and somehow timely: A documentary about a white supremacist group that tries to take over a South Dakota town.


This one comes from the guys who brought you the New Orleans head trip Tchoupitoulas. It's a film about a cattleman, a mayor and a drug cartel, set in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Plan your life

The SXSW Film Festival and Conference is Friday through March 21 in Austin. For more information visit

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